Eight-time Guinness world recorder holder Bibhuti Bhushan Nayak does not believe in the word impossibleWhen eight-time Guinness world record winner Bibhuti Bhushan Nayak landed in the UAE recently, it turned out to be “love at first sight” with the country.
“I am crazy for records and so is the UAE,” smiles Nayak. “The admiration is, hence, not a surprise.”
The UAE, incidentally, holds more than 150 world records to its credit.
The 50-year-old “Bruce Lee of Navi Mumbai,” as friends back home fondly call him, is a seasoned gymnast and eighth-degree karate black belt holder, who does a backbreaking workout for nearly four hours every day.
Nayak’s tryst with martial arts started at a tender age. He was attending a local event at his village in Orissa, when he met a Chinese expert in tai-chi, Tony Yong. A few cues from the master were enough to ignite a passion in the youngster.
A calm and shy student that he was, Nayak was once accosted by a gang of street thugs, which incensed him so much that he tried some karate techniques to ward them off.
“I also raised a war cry and my scream unnerved them, making them run for their lives,” he says. “This made me realise that a meek attitude would not help especially in a rough world. Even peace-loving people need to learn a few tricks so as to keep the bad ones under control.”
It was in 1998 that he decided to carry out a dangerous feat: “Most number of times being kicked in the groin.” He managed to withstand a few powerful kicks, but the organisers would not take any further risk with his life and the idea of a record was dropped.
His bizarre record-breaking spree started nearly two decades ago when he reached the Indian commercial capital of Mumbai for a job.
Nayak’s world records include:1999
Most number of stomach sit-ups in an hour (1, 448)
Most Number of Backhand push-ups in one hour (819)
Most number of palm push-ups in one minute (133)
Most number of 41lbs cement blocks broken on groin (3)
Most one fisted Cartwheels in one minute (34)
Most number of double alternate squat thrusts in one minute (71)
Most number of one-legged martial arts kicks in one minute (250)
Most number of Squats in one minute (75)
But not forever.
The very next year, he took up a challenge for “Most number of stomach sit-ups in one hour (1,448). The feat got registered in the Guinness Book of World Records. Much adulation followed.
That spurred Nayak into trying out a series of weird and dangerous feats with the goal of entering the Guinness. With every record, his thirst for the next grew. Eight Guinness records on, he refuses to stop.
Watching Nayak in action on television, British author and Man Booker Prize shortlisted author Stephen Kelman was flabbergasted by the former’s unique perspective on life and took on to write a fictional biography on him.
The book, titled Man on Fire, a dramatic narration of Nayak’s accomplishments in fictional format, is said to have been received well.
There are other traits that make the “man on fire” distinctive. A strict vegetarian, he survives mostly on pulses, fruits and dry fruits and consumes 10 litres of water daily.
He presently imparts training in martial arts and self-defence tricks to commandos and women cops of Railway Protection Force, Central Railway (a wing of Indian Railways) besides having trained martial arts to underprivileged children in Mumbai.
“This is apart from my personal workout of four hours a day to set few more records in the coming days,” he gleams with enthusiasm.
On a personal visit to Sharjah with his family, Nayak says he once took a call to attempt a record in Dubai during an annual fest, but the trip could not materialise.
“I don’t believe in the word impossible. As I mentioned, I have fallen in love with the UAE and would surely look forward to break a new record here,” he says.